Thursday 21 November 2019

New festivals ‘a boost’ for new bands says The Wombats’ Tord Overland-Knudsen

The bassist also spoke about the band’s next album.

The Wombats (Ian West/PA)
The Wombats (Ian West/PA)

By Edd Dracott

The Wombats bassist Tord Overland-Knudsen has said the rapid appearance of new music festivals is a boost for young bands starting out.

Speaking before the band played at Community, a new festival based in London’s Finsbury Park, the 34-year-old said he can’t see the appetite for new festivals ending soon either.

(left to right) Daniel Haggis, Matthew Murphy and Tord Overland-Knudsen (Niall Carson/PA)

“So long as people are hungry for music then there will always be room for more,” he told the Press Association. “It’s a boost for the newer bands too.

“People here might know one or two bands on the bill, but festivals like these can let you play to new people and bigger crowds – even if they aren’t your die hard fans.”

The new festival was organised by Festival Republic and featured a collection of bands including headliners Catfish And The Bottlemen, Slaves and Nothing But Thieves – but also lesser known acts such as The Hunna, Darlia and Fickle Friends.

The festival was attended by thousands and Overland-Knudsen said although traditional rock bands are perhaps getting less traction in the charts, they still “dominate” the live scene.

“It’s always been that way,” he said. “It’s almost like there’s two different worlds where you’ve got the pop world with the charts but then half the gig tickets are being sold to rock bands out there.

“That’s what people want to see – live music.”

Catfish And The Bottlemen drew a huge crowd at the Isle of Wight Festival this year (David Jensen/PA)
The crowd watch Catfish And The Bottlemen on the Isle of Wight (David Jensen/PA)

The Wombats were formed in 2003 while Overland-Knudsen was studying in Liverpool with band-mates Matthew “Murph” Murphy and Dan Haggis, and he pointed to some differences in starting out as a band now.

“Things spread a lot quicker,” he said. “When we were starting out radio was the main form of spreading music, but more mediums such as Spotify now makes accessing music easier.

“We were working our way up playing toilet tours for three or four years but if they’re lucky I think a band can get big quite quickly now and jump a few levels.

“But there’s more music out there and competition so it’s not necessarily easier – you’re always going to have to put in the hard work in this business.”

The Norwegian bassist said The Wombats’ fourth album is in the making, and they expect to record the album this autumn for an early 2018 release. Meanwhile a track from the album should be released this autumn.

“It’s early to say but it feels like we’re going back to our roots with this album,” said Overland-Knudsen. “It’s a bit more guitar-focused, using keyboards as an added effect rather than a main part and starting songs with a guitar riff – with a bit more psychedelia and a retro feel.

“It might not end up sounding anything like that but that’s the direction.”

PA Media

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